Understand, and yes, I have noticed that you do see both. If I thought that once we figure out exactly what he needs we would stay with it that would be one thing. But it sounds like you change bits more with reining? Is that true? And what about Les Vogt bits? They are certainly nice looking too, and not quite as pricey. I have also noticed that the good ones DO hold their value, but are rarely if ever resold.(like on ebay....).
Thanks again for your input-I certainly value all of it as respected members of this community.
I found that once he is fully trained you may generally use one bit, however, as you know, horses are always a work in progress and problems will arise. Having different bits to work with when problems come up helps. That way you always have options. In my opinion I don't think it's a waste of money to buy different bits. For me I prefer to have a different couple ring snaffles, smooth and twisted wire. I have a couple of short shanked snaffle mouthed bits, one of them with a dogbone. I have a couple different correction bits, one with the regular port and one with the squared port. (one of my favorites)
I had one of the Les Vogt bits, I think it was a medium port with the Elko star cheek. I traded it off. Not because I didn't like it but if I was going to have a bit of that style I would rather have one that will hold its value. But I think they run along the same lines as the Bob Avila bits.
Like Kevin said above, I like the fancy bits as well. Depending on the name they can be affordable. One can buy a Garcia at Capriolas for about $350. You can find them on Ebay too. I have noticed Tietjen bits went up in price since he passed away. But you used to find them for about $150 and up depending. Plus they are easy to take care because they are stainless. Flemming and Grijalva are going to be considerably more. Just like anything you can spend as little or as much as you want. I found the bits with the half breed mouthpiece are the easiest to re-sell and my horses like these mouthpieces the best. And they are the most popular with the cowboys here. What I consider the oddball mouthpieces like a Mona Lisa and Frog are harder to trade or sell. But your trainer will probably let you know what your horse will need to show in. I have different variations, some covered(hooded) and some with tongue relief and so on. I posted a couple pics below. The Las Cruces is a Garcia with the San Juaquin mouthpiece. And the other is a custom bit made by Les Iveson with the traditional half breed. These are just two of many more.... some girls like shoe shopping, I like bit shopping!
If you decide to get a nice bit down the road, let me know what you want. I may be able to find one for you. I am always looking...
And keep in mind, if you go with this style of bit to show/ride in. They are ridden with rawhide romel reins traditionally. Another investment...buying quality reins are important to me as well.